Elijah McClain's Family Reaches Settlement In Police Killing

McClain, 23, died in August 2019 after police threw him to the ground and put him in a now-banned chokehold.

The family of a Black man who was killed by police have reached a settlement with the city of Aurora, Colorado.

Elijah McClain’s family shared the news on Tuesday, but did not disclose the amount the city would be paying.

McClain, who was 23, was killed in August 2019 after officers with the Aurora Police Department responded to a 911 call about McClain wearing a ski mask as he walked to a convenience store.

“Stop right there. Stop. Stop. ... I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious,” an officer said, according to a police body-camera video. McClain’s family said he was wearing the ski mask because of a blood condition that caused him to get cold easily.

Several officers responded to the call and at least one officer forced McClain into a chokehold, even as McClain pleaded, saying he wasn’t a threat.

“I’m just different. I’m just different, that’s all,” McClain could be heard saying on a police body-worn camera. “That’s all I was doing. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why were you attacking me? I don’t do guns. I don’t even kill flies. I don’t eat meat.”

Aurora paramedics who arrived on the scene then injected McClain with 500 milligrams of ketamine, an emergency anesthetic. On the way to a hospital, McClain suffered two heart attacks and was taken off life support six days later.

McClain’s killing set off a series of protests, and four Aurora officers not involved in the killing lost their jobs after reenacting a photo making fun of McClain’s death. Last month, Colorado’s attorney general announced charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide against three officers and two paramedics involved in McClain’s killing.

A year after McClain’s death, the Aurora City Council banned police from using chokeholds.